Caring for Newborn kittens Without Mother: Orphan Kitten Care

Caring for Newborn kittens without mother

Caring for an abandoned kitten or an orphan kitten could be quite challenging as you need to provide all the motherly care required for the little kitten to grow into an adult cat.

In this section, we will explore caring for newborn kittens without mother for an abandoned or orphan kitten. Our previous article on kitten care explains the various stages of a newborn kitten, their features and how to provide care for both the mother cat and the kitten of litter.

Caring for Newborn kittens Without Mother

Caring for a kitten depends on the weeks of age. Kittens of 1 week to 3 weeks old are unable to take solid food. for this reason, you need to provide the kitten with a milk replacer.

To feed a kitten without a mother, you will need to provide an appropriate kitten milk replacer and feed them using a kitten nipple or a syringe, following the directions on the kitten milk replacer package. You can consult your local veterinarian for recommendation or visit a licences local pet store to get a kitten formula

syringe to feed kitten

Prepare the formula at the optimal temperature for the week old kittens, which is roughly 95 to 100 degrees; you would want it to be lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. Once it’s at the right temperature, give it a little shake to mix the formula evenly, and feed every 2 to 3 hours, including nighttime.

Feeding Kitten with Syringe

Keep the kitten in its natural belly-down position as you feed the newborn kitten. Gently insert the bottle nipple or syringe into the kitten’s mouth, allowing her to suckle at her own pace. Do not force feed the kitten; instead, let the kitten choose how much food it wants to consume. To get the ideal temperature, use a warm water bath or bottle warmer. Before feeding, always make sure the kitten food formula is not too hot by testing the formula temperature on the inside of your wrist. You are aware, of course, that if it gets too hot, the kittens’ mouths might burn.

Keep the Kitten Warm

To provide warmth for the kitten, use soft bedding, a heating pad, a towel-covered water bottle, or a heat lamp. Keeps the temperature in a way that allows the kittens to move away from hot environments when they get uncomfortable. The ideal temperature for newborn kittens is 90–95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to 32–35 degrees Celsius.

You may also provide a ticking clock or a low-volume radio for the newborn baby kittens, to mimic the mother’s heartbeat or purring. This is to emulate the mother’s presence. It has a calming effect on young kittens.

Towel to keep kitten warm

Newborn kittens struggle to urinate and defecate until they are aroused. Naturally, the mother cat provides care by cleaning and stimulating them to eliminate. Elimination is crucial for newborn kittens’ health, so you must take over in the absence of the mother.

To carry out this, gently moisten a soft cloth or cotton ball with comfortably warm water, hold the kitten firmly, and gently rub the kitten’s genital area to arouse elimination. Even though it can take newborn kittens a few minutes to urinate or defecate, keep an eye on them and gently wipe the kitten’s genital area once they’ve done so. You have to do this every time after feeding.

Newborn kittens of less than two weeks cannot regulate their body temperature effectively, especially orphaned kittens. It is your responsibility as a caregiver to create for them an ambient temperature of about 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to 23.89–26.67 degrees Celsius. You can use a heating pad, cover a water bottle with a towel, or use a heat lamp to ensure this temperature. Always give the kittens the option to move away from the heating point if it gets too hot for them.

You can read more related articles on cats and kittens Here.


When caring for newborn kittens without a mother, it is important to provide them with a warm environment as they cannot regulate their body temperature effectively, especially if they are orphaned. Aim for an ambient temperature of 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit (23.89–26.67 degrees Celsius). You can achieve this by using a heating pad, covering a water bottle with a towel, or using a heat lamp. Remember to give the kittens the option to move away from the heat source if it becomes too hot for them. For more information on cats and kittens, check out this article here.

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